The Waccamaw River defines the peninsula known as the Waccamaw Neck, home to Hobcaw Barony. The river and the land bear the name of the Waccamaw Indian People, whose current tribal grounds are in Aynor, South Carolina, about an hour northwest of Hobcaw. The land was purchased in 1813 by Native Americans John and Elizabeth Dimery, and by the mid-eighteenth century the Dimery settlement had grown to include four families: Dimery, Cook, Hatcher, and Turner.
Cultural identity has been a difficult, complex issue for Native Americans in South Carolina. Before 1870 the federal census did not use "Indian" as a category for non-reservation Indians, and the Horry County Census of 1820 identified native people, including John and Elizabeth Dimery, as "free persons of color." Other members of the tribe have been classified as white and mulatto. On February 17, 1995, the Waccamaw Indian People received formal recognition as a Native American tribe from the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs, and today the tribe has about 400 members.
Early America was a cloth woven from many threads, but the Indian strands that ran through it have often been ignored, forgotten, and allowed to fade from the nation’s history… Denied center stage in American history except in moments of open conflict, they continued to make their own history. Marginalized by mainstream society, they continued to participate in American life. Expected to disappear amid the ruins of their former world, they repeatedly rebuilt their worlds, remade themselves, and continued to shape the national experience.
Ian Calloway, New Worlds for All